Scanned, edited and tagged by: Courtney Danforth 9/27/96 Geertz, "Ideology as a Cultural System" I. It is one of the minor ironies of modern intellectual




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Rev. 63 (1956):218-227. 34 Ibid. I have quoted this incisive passage above (pp. 77-78), in attempting to set the extrinsic theory of thought in the context of recent evolutionary, neurological, and cultural anthropological findings. 35 W. Percy, "Symbol, Consciousness and Intersubjectivity," Journal of Philosophy 55 (1958) 631-641. Italics in original. Quoted by permission. 36 Ibid. Quoted by permission 37 S. Langer, Feeling and Form (New York, 1953). 33 The quotations are from Ryle, Concept of Mind, p. 51. 39 T. Parsons, "An Approach to Psychological Theory in Terms of the Theory of Action," in Psychology: A Study of a Science, ed. S. Koch (New York, 1959), vol. 3. Italics in original. Compare: isIn order to account for this selectivity, it is necessary to assume that the structure of the enzyme is related in some way to the structure of the gene. By a logical extension of this idea we arrive at the concept that the gene is a representation�blueprint so to speak�of the enzyme molecule, and that the function of the gene is to serve as a source of information regarding the structure of the enzyme. It seems evident that the synthesis of an enzyme�a giant protein molecule consisting of hundreds of ammo acid units arranged endtoend in a specific and unique order�requires a model or set of instructions of some kind. These instructions must be characteristic of the species; they must be automatically transmitted from generation to generation, and they must be constant yet capable of evolutionary change. The only known entity that could perform such a function is the gene. There are many reasons for believing that it transmits information, by acting as a model or template." N. H. Horowitz, "The Gene," Scientific American, February 1956, p. 85. 40 This point is perhaps somewhat too baldly put in light of recent analyses of animal learning; but the essential thesis�that there is a general trend toward a more diffuse, less determinate control of behavior by intrinsic (innate) parameters as one moves from lower to higher animals�seems well established. See above, Chapter 3, pp. 70-76. 41 Of course, there are moral, economic, and even aesthetic ideologies, as well as specifically political ones, but as very few ideologies of any social prominence lack political implications, it is perhaps permissible to view the problem here in this somewhat narrowed focus. In any case, the arguments developed for political ideologies apply with equal force to nonpolitical ones. For an analysis of a moral ideology cast in terms very similar to those developed in this paper, see A. L. Green, "The Ideology of Anti-Fluoridation Leaders," The Journal of Social Issues 17 (1961): 13-25. 42 That such ideologies may call, as did Burke's or De Maistre's, for the reinvigoration of custom or the reimposition of religious hegemony is, of course, no contradiction. One constructs arguments for tradition only when its credentials have been questioned. To the degree that such appeals are successful they bring, not a return to naive traditionalism, but ideological retraditionalization�an altogether different matter. See Mannheim, "Conservative Thought," in his Essays on Sociology and Social Psychology (New York, 1953), especially pp. 94-98. 43 It is important to remember, too, that the principle was destroyed long before the king; It was to the successor principle that he was, in fact, a ritual sacrifice: "When [Saint-Just] exclaims: "To determine the principle in virtue of which the accused [Louis XVI] is perhaps to die, is to determine the principle by which the society that judges him lives, he demonstrates that it is the philosophers who are going to kill the King: the King must die in the name of the social contract." A. Camus, The Rebel (New York. 1958). p. 114 44 Alphonse de Lamartine, "Declaration of Principles," in Introduction to Contemporary Civilization in the West, A Source Book (New York, 1946), 2: 328-333. 45 The following very schematic and necessarily ex cathedra discussion is based mainly on my own research and represents only my own views, but I have a!so drawn heavily on the work of Herbert Feith for factual material. See especlally, The Decline of Constitutional Democracy in Indonesia (New York, 1962) and "Dynamics of Guided Democracy," in Indonesia, ed. R. McVey (New Haven, 1963), pp. 309-409. For the general cultural analysis within which my interpretations are set, see C. Geertz, The Religion of Java (New York, 1960). 46 R. Heme-Geldern, "Conceptions of State and Kinship in Southeast Asia," Far Eastern Quarterly 2 (1942): 15�30. 47 Ibid 48 The whole expanse of Yawa-land [Java] is to be compared with one town in the Prince's reign. / By thousands are [counted] the people's dwelling places, to be compared with the manors of Royal servants, surrounding the body of the Royal compound. / All kinds of foreign islands- to be compared with them are the cultivated land's areas, made happy and quiet. / Of the aspect of parks, then, are the forests and mountains, all of them set foot on by Him, without feeling anxiety. Canto 17, stanza 3 of the "Nagara-Kertagama," a fourteenth century royal epic. Translated in Th. Piegeaud, Java in the 14th Century (The Hague, 1960) 3:21. The term nagara still means, indifferently, "palace," "capital city," "state,' "country," or "government" sometimes even "civilization"� in Java. 49 For a description of the Pantjasila speech, see G. Kahin, Nationalism and Revolution in Indonesia (Ithaca, 1952), pp.122�127. 50 The quotations are from the Pantjasila speech, as quoted in ibid., p. 126. 51 The proceedings of the convention, unfortunately still untranslated, form one of the fullest and most instructive records of ideological combat in the new states available. See Tentang Negara Republik Indonesia Dalam Konstituante, 3 vols. (n.p. [Diakarta?].n.d. [1958?]]. 52 Feith, "Dynamics of Guided Democracy," p. 367. A vivid, if somewhat shrill, description of "Manipol-USDEKism" in action can be found in W. Hanna, Bung Karno's Indonesia (New York, 1961). 53 Feith, "Dynamics of Guided Democracy," 367-368. Pegang literally means "to grasp" thuspeganean. "something graspable." 52 Feith, "Dynamics of Guided Democracy," p. 367. A vivid, if somewhat shrill, description of "Manipol-USDEKism" in action can be found in W. Hanna, Bung Karno's Indonesia (New York, 1961). 53 Feith, "Dynamics of Guided Democracy," 367-368. Pegang literally means "to grasp" thuspeganean. "something graspable." 54 Ibid. 55 For an analysis of the role of ideology in an emerging African nation, conducted along lines similar to our own, see L. A. Failers, "Ideology and Culture In Uganda Nationalism" American Anthropologist 63 (1961): 677-686. For a superb case study of an "adoiescent" nation in which the process of thorough-going ideologlical reconstruction seems to have been conducted with reasonable success, see B. Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey (London, 1961), especially Chap. 10. 56 This point is, however, not quite the same as saying that the two sorts of activity may not in practice be carried on together, any more than a man cannot, for example, paint a portrait of a bird that is both ornithologically accurate and aesthetically effective. Marx is, of course, the outstanding case, but for a more recent successful synchronization of scientific analysis, and ideological argument, see E. Shils, The Torment of Secrecy (New York, 1956). Most such attempts to mix genres are however, distinctly less happy. 57 Fallers, "Ideology and Culture." The patterns of belief and value defended may be, of course, those of a socially subordinate group, as well as those of a socially dominant one, and the "apology" therefore for reform or revolution.
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